Catching up on what’s been happening

I thought I’d make my first proper post a bit of a catchup on what’s been happening with me over the last couple of months :)

I’ve been training on and off since mid-late November due to a handful of injuries that have been rolling my way, probably the most persistent of which has been my stump’s ongoing issues since November. It actually started after I took our dog out for a walk after Wifey and I caught up with my brother and sister-in-law for a weekender, and ended up mangling the back of my stump. This wasn’t a biggie at first because I thought I’d just done some minor surface damage to the stump, but it ended up turning out to be more serious and on-going than I first imagined.

What ended up happening only started to get resolved maybe a month ago – what had happened was to do with some foam padding added to what’s called the “seat” of the prosthesis. This is the part of the socket that comes up to the base of your arse cheek and forms a foundation to hold your weight when you walk – by doing this, it means the weight and pressure of your body is spready out on your bum (which is handy, because it’s cushiony and generally has a large surface area!) and along the bottom of your stump, which can only physically take so much repeated pressure/impacts before struggling to hold your weight.

Anywho, because I’m pretty active, a while back my specialist put some tough foam-like padding (only a few mm thick) along the back of the seat of the prosthesis to soften the cutting-like impact walking was having on my socket liner. This is a good thing btw, more cushion = less direct impact. The issue was that a while ago, part of the foam padding broke off and I ignored it, because at first it wasn’t making a difference. However, after that long walk with our dog it happened to grind away so much skin that it caused an open wound (at the time though, I didn’t realise the extent of the damage). Roll on to December and I had two weeks off work over the x-mas break, which was great for my leg because I kept the prosthesis off for the most part. However, jumping back into work and all the goodies that comes with my work ethic, and again I had problems with my leg. It was getting very, very frustrating!

My lightbulb moment came in February – after getting into my socket and feeling the familiar soreness on the back of my stump, I put my finger between the liner and the socket where the pain was comgin from and took a look, and the exact spot where the sore happened to be was on the torn edge of the foam backing! Following this revelation, I made an appointment and had my specialist remove the offending material and replace it. The effect was immediate, and for the first time in months, my stump is slowly healing itself.

So, because of this in particular, training has been really erratic – I’ve only done a handful of classes this year so far, and am nowhere ready to grade next month (I also missed out the December grading due to the issues knocking me out solidly from November 2009 until the new year, so that’s two in a row as we generally hold gradings quaretly throughout the year), so I’ve been working on training at about 80% so as not to damage the stump. I’ve managed to do classes for the last two weeks without too much trouble, and for the last three weeks I’ve been able to finally get back into the yard as well and work on revamping the garden. Things are definitely looking up!

So, I’m at a good place at the moment. Over the course of my break form training, I also took the opportunity to do some reading on martial arts – I read Patrick and Yuriko McCarthy’s translated works on Gichin Funakoshi and Motobu Choki (regulars will know I’ve mentioned him when referring to Koryu Uchinadi Kenpo-jutsu and the International Ryukyu Karate-jutsu Research Society in the past – you can check out their website here, and read more on the books themselves here), finally read Tom Cleary’s translation of Miyamoto Musashi’s Book of Five Rings (more info on the translation is at Musashi Miyamoto.com) and a translation of the Hagakure (can’t recall the translator for this one) – Wifey actually bought me those last two as a gift, isn’t she awesome? Down the road I’m planning on writing up something on my impressions of these books so that others interested in them can see some of my thoughts on them, being inspired by the martial arts book reviews section on Black Belt Mama’s website.

There’s been some other stuff happening as well on the injury front, but I’ll save that for another post in order to keep this one a little more focused!

Anywho, expect more regular updates form now on, I promise!

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